WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) – For National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, a study on child poverty taken over the last two decades is now being looked at again.
Between 1993 and 2019, the study by Child Trends found that child poverty dropped to just 59% in the U.S.
The study was taken across every state and racial and ethnic group. It found that increased economic assistance from the federal government was the main cause of the decline in poverty.
Representatives from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a national philanthropic organization are looking at how that assistance should remain in place today.
“We made even further progress during the pandemic when you would least expect it, because our nation’s decision-makers decided to invest in programs like the Child Tax Credit, like the earning of the tax credit, stimulus funds, which made their way into households,” says Managing Director of the Healthy Children and Families Program at RWJF, Jennifer Ng’andu.
Such funds coming into homes during the pandemic proved to further cut child poverty in half.
But now, the Child Tax Credit, and free school lunch programs, among others, are being scaled back or are expiring. And, with over 25 million Americans battling food insecurity, along with the cost of living being at record highs, such assistance seems more crucial than ever.
However, representatives from the foundation say there is still an opportunity for lawmakers to come together in a bipartisan way and help continue to keep poverty levels down.
“We have something we can do about the state of the economy right now,” says Ng’andu. “We’ve proven over the last two years that we don’t have to let people fall into poverty, we do not have to let people in circumstances where they face homelessness.”
If you want to learn more about the study or about the work the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is doing, you can visit Every Family Forward.